MANHATTAN (KSNT) – A Manhattan apartment faces an uncertain future more than two months after being officially condemned due to poor maintenance.
KSNT 27 News covered the Royal Towers apartment complex earlier this year as pressure mounted on the building’s owners to make urgent repairs to the building’s walkways and stairwells. This followed complaints from residents on the crumbling nature of parts of the building and the safety issues it presented.
The building was eventually condemned by city officials after property owners failed to meet a March 16 deadline for correcting the walkways and stairwells. Residents were given until May 1 to find other living arrangements. For some of the residents, who were students at Kansas State University, this presented a heavy burden during the middle of the semester.
Ryan Almes, Deputy Fire Chief with the Manhattan Fire Department, told KSNT 27 News in an email that the building may be getting another chance at life. He said the fenced-in property remains under a notice to repair after it was condemned more than two months ago.
“The property has been secured with fencing that we required to keep people out,” Almes said. “With the exception of a violation of tall weeds/grass notice we issued a couple of weeks ago, the building can remain in the current condition while the owner decides what to do.”
Almes said the owner, Tenants in Common: TD Invest, LLC and RA LLC, plans to have the building repaired. Repair work would be extensive and require a large investment of time, according to Almes.
“If the owner chooses to have the building repaired, they will be required to submit plans completed by an architect and obtain a building permit,” Almes said. “Repairs could take a substantial amount of time.”
When asked how long the owner would have to repair the apartment complex, Almes said a building can be vacant for an indefinite amount of time as long as it doesn’t become a severe problem, attractive nuisance or otherwise cause harm to public health or safety. He said the owner can be cited at any time for not complying with the orders of the past tall weeds/grass notice, which include keeping the building secure.
If the building is eventually demolished, Almes said the cost will fall on the property owner. A process used as recently as 2019 by the Manhattan City Commission could declare the building to be dangerous. This would result in an order for the building’s demolition and the city could file a claim to the property owner for the cost of the demolition.